Train punctuality: Are we measuring the wrong thing?

Karan Chadda

Commuters constantly complain about how awful British train services are.

We complain about ticket prices but are told that the increases are needed to pay for better services in the future and to offset reductions in government subsidies (the jam tomorrow argument).

Commuters also complain about capacity: there are never any seats available, if you manage to get on a train at all. This issue is often met with the dual refrain of suggesting we work more flexibly and that capacity is being increased (using those record increases in fares).

Most of all, however, we complain about delays. Whether it’s signal failure, leaves on the line or the wrong kind of snow, there’s always a delay of some sort to contend with. The response is often that we’re wrong. That services actually run quite well, some lines are among the best in Europe for train punctuality.

Here’s a question…

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